Sunday, January 26, 2014

Chinese radio station fans meet in Erode

Arun P Mathew,TNN | Jan 26, 2014, 01.40AM IST
COIMBATORE: Pallavi K Paramasivam, a 52-year-
old social worker in Perundurai, remembers the
first radio he got when he was just 15 years old. He
would tune the radio in all possible ways to reach
stations that played Tamil programmes. It was
during one such attempt that he received the
broadcast of the Tamil service of the Chinese Radio
International (CRI). He went on to become such a
fan of this radio station and wrote several letters
that the station invited him on a two-week trip to
China in 1986.
Paramasivam visited Beijing and Shanghai and
tourist spots including The Great Wall of China.
When he travelled to China during the 2008
Olympics, CRI helped him find lodging and passes
to the games venues. "I was a regular listener of
many international radio stations including the
Tamil services of BBC, Moscow and Pakistan. But
what attracted me to CRI-Tamil service was that
they replied to my letters," he said.
There are several admirers of the CRI-Tamil
service, which started its broadcast in 1963. They
are so many in number that came together to set
up a listeners' association in 1986. The association
organises listeners' meets every year, which is
attended without fail by members from across the
state. Paramasivam, for instance, is a regular at
meetings since 1986.
On Saturday, about 300 listeners attended the
25{+t}{+h} CRI-Tamil service listeners meet at
Perundurai. Many of them became fans of the
radio station by writing letters. Prompt replies
from the station ensured that they developed a
kind of emotional relationship with the radio
"Last year, the radio announced greetings for my
daughter's marriage," said S Porunaibalu from
Tirunelveli. He started listening to CRI a decade
ago after a friend told him about the radio station.
His first letter received an enquiry from the local
police station. But he was thrilled once he received
a reply and from then on sent the station several
letters. Even in this internet age, he sends letters
by post.
Zhao Jiang, director of the CRI, says that they
receive several thousands of letters from the
listeners every year. "This radio service has helped
improve ties between the countries and develop an
interest in China among the listeners," she said.
Interestingly, the listeners appreciate the way the
Chinese radio speaks Tamil. "They speak in pure
Tamil and the programmes are interesting and
their presentation is excellent," says S
Senthilkumar, a Pollachi resident.
The programmes are predominantly feature
stories. They also broadcast news which is, of
course, from a Chinese perspective. Some of the
listeners said these broadcasts help them
understand the Chinese view on issues like Tibet as
well as international affairs.
SOURCE: The Times of India

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